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These cartoons were drawn for various housing campaigns:

 

privatisation cartoon

privatisation

 

no money for public housing

when there's no money for public housing

 

gentrification

gentrification of the city centres

 

consulting stakeholders

consulting with 'stakeholders' 1

 

consulting stakeholders 2

consulting with 'stakeholders' 2

 

consulting stakeholders 3

consulting with 'stakeholders' 3

 

homeless at Christmas

homeless at Christmas

 

pupil entrepreneurs

This cartoon was drawn in response to discussions about introducing the enterprise culture into the classroom

 

 

 

 

 

You are welcome to use and distribute any of the papers below, so long as they are fully acknowledged.

If you need copies of the final published versions and do not have access to them, please email sarah@sarahglynn.net

The papers have been divided into those that look at housing and those that look at issues around multiculturalism

ON HOUSING

Good Homes: lessons in successful public housing from Newcastle’s Byker Estate (2011)

Those of us who defend and fight for the concept of affordable rented public housing would not seek to deny that there have been some very real problems – and we need to recognise these and learn from them - but, at the same time, we can point out the less headline-grabbing successes. We need to look at what has made public housing good homes in the past, and can continue to do so into the future. This paper uses lessons from past and present history to help us think about what it is we are fighting for. more... [pdf]

Mass demolitions and growing housing waiting lists – a Scottish case study of the impacts of neoliberal legislative structures (2011)

The amount of social rented housing in Scotland has declined to its lowest level in 50 years and is still shrinking; but the need for such housing is increasing. Across the country there are growing housing waiting lists and growing numbers of households stuck in temporary accommodation. The need for more and better social housing has now been acknowledged by the Scottish Government, but this paper argues that, after thirty years of pro-market politics, a bias against social housing has become built into the system, and that we will not see real investment in social housing until the current policy framework is dismantled. more... [pdf]

Towards a New Era of Public Housing: an alternative agenda (2010)

As academics, our work tends to focus on the fundamental task of ‘interpreting the world in various ways’; but if ‘the point is to change it’, then we need to move beyond interpretation (however critical) and address what those changes should be. That is what I want to begin to do in this paper. more... [pdf]

How the Council Destroyed Oor Hoosis: a tale of our times (2010)

An illustrated booklet written for the Derby Street Multis Residents’ Association, so that people can learn what has happened to ‘oor hoosis’ and to similar houses almost everywhere. [pdf]

‘Regeneration’ in Interesting Times: an unfinished story in three parts (2010 revised 2011)

This is an account of forces of privatisation and gentrification in a peripheral Scottish city. When I first wrote about what was happening in Dundee, and the proposed demolition of council housing blocks that have dominated the city’s skyline for almost 40 years, house prices were rising – though never as fast as in more fashionable places – and developers still had an unsatisfied appetite for land. This looks again at that earlier period but continues to discuss what has happened since the economic crash. more... [pdf]

The Tenants’ Movement: incorporation and independence (2010)

At the beginning of this century, the participation of local authority and housing association tenants in the management of their homes was enshrined in law in the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001. But what might appear at first sight to be a long overdue recognition of tenant power, has proved in practice to be a highly effective managerial tool in the hands of the local and national state and social landlords. more... [pdf]

Where the other half lives: lower-income housing in a neoliberal world (2009)

Talk given at book launch... html [pdf]

Butterburn and Bucklemaker Tenants' Survey - 4 years on (2009)

This survey was carried out in association with tenants remaining in these buildings four years after the previous survey (see below) and five years after plans for the buildings' demolition were first made public. [pdf]

The Housing Question (2008)

This paper was given at the STUC conference on Communities, Regeneration and Housing, held 5th September 2008. It aims to set the housing crisis in a broader context, and begin the discussion about what we can do about it. more... [pdf]

Social Housing: the key to an equitable housing policy (2008)

This paper was given at the Holyrood Magazine conference on Scotland’s Housing Market in December 2008. more... [pdf]

Soft Selling Gentrification? (2008)

This paper explores the rhetoric and reality of regeneration. It looks at wider issues through an examination of ongoing changes in Dundee, using a mixture of participant action research and a critical analysis of government documents and of previous policy-related research. These are combined to show how public debate is being dominated by a political spin that allows gentrifying policies to be portrayed as logical and progressive development. more... [pdf]

Firm Foundations? (2008)

A response to the Scottish Government's Housing Green Paper. more... [pdf]

An Alternative Housing Strategy for Scotland (2007)

Paper given at a symposium of the same name in Edinburgh University, October 2007. (This paper is based on an article written for the Scottish Left Review.) more... [pdf]

But We Already Have Community Ownership – making council housing work (2007)

Stock transfer – the transfer of council housing into housing association ownership -  has been a central plank of Scottish housing policy, and has been promoted under the slogan of ‘community ownership and tenant control’. This paper discusses how, instead, we can build on the existing system to make community ownership and tenant control a reality, and not a cynical disguise for policies that will bring about the opposite of what is claimed. more... [pdf]

The report they didn't want us to see: an analysis of DTZ Pieda’s report on Dundee’s council housing (2006)

An analysis of the private consultants’ report used by Dundee City Council as the basis of their housing policy, which was only made accessible to tenants and activists after an appeal under the Freedom of Information Act. [pdf]

Views from the Menzieshill Miltis: Survey of tenants in the Menzieshill Multis (2005)

This survey was carried out in association with tenants six months after these buildings were formally scheduled for demolition. [pdf]

More time for Butterburn and Bucklemaker Courts: the tenants' survey (2005)

This survey was carried out in association with tenants six months after these buildings were formally scheduled for demolition. [pdf]

East End Immigrants and the Battle for Housing: a comparative study of political mobilisation in the Jewish and Bengali communities (2004)  

Twice in the recent history of the East End of London, the fight for decent housing has become part of a bigger political battle. These two very different struggles are representative of two important periods in radical politics – the class politics, tempered by popular-frontism, that operated in the 1930s, and the new social movement politics of the seventies. In the rent strikes of the 1930s the ultimate goal was Communism. Although the local Party was disproportionately Jewish, Communist theory required an outward looking orientation that embraced the whole of the working class. In the squatting movement of the 1970s political organisers attempted to steer the Bengalis onto the path of Black Radicalism, championing separate organisation and turning the community inwards. An examination of the implementation and consequences of these different movements can help us to understand the possibilities and problems for the transformation of grass-roots activism into a broader political force, and the processes of political mobilisation of ethnic minority groups. more... [pdf]

ON MULIICULTURALISM

Dundee Responds: a reply to Nathan Abrams’ article in Northern Scotland on the history of Dundee’s Jewish community, and to his earlier book chapter, on which that article was based (2013)

Nathan Abrams’ representation of modern Dundee cannot go uncontested. This is not, and has never been, a city marked by anti-Semitism. The support that has been shown for the Palestinians is a product of a strong left - and anti-racist - movement, and there is nothing to suggest that this caused anti-Semitism. The activities of a few isolated neo-Nazis should never be elevated by presenting them as representative of wider society. more... [pdf]

Liberalising Islam: creating Brits of the Islamic Persuasion (2010)

This paper explores the responses of Western governments to the politicisation of their Muslim citizens. The immediate aim of current policies is to pre-empt the growth of ‘Islamic extremism’, but they also build on developments in the incorporation of faith groups into new forms of partnership governance. While I share governmental concern about the risks of young Muslims being attracted by those who advocate violent interpretations of Islam, I argue that current policies will only make this more likely. I argue that the increasing role for faith groups within Western political structures encourages division along faith lines, and that government attempts to promote a ‘moderate’ Islam from above are more likely to alienate those they seek to reach. And I argue that the rise of political religion of all kinds has to be understood as a consequence of the decline of an effective Left movement through which to channel frustrations with local and international inequalities. With socialism, even of the social democratic variety, off - and deliberately removed from - the agenda, some of those who once looked to socio-economic solutions, are now turning to other ideologies. I argue that the only way for western nations to prevent this, and open up real spaces of hope, is to return to addressing those basic socio-economic issues and concentrate on increasing equality both within their own borders and in their foreign policy. more... [pdf]

Muslims and the Left: an English case study (2010)

In fighting alongside those whom society has oppressed, Socialists have often found themselves shoulder to shoulder with Muslims, but British Left groups have recruited relatively few Muslim members. Then, with the formation of the Respect Coalition, Leftists and Muslims appeared to have tied the knot. This paper examines the nature and limitations of this coalition through an exploration of wider ideological relationships between Islam and the Left. It argues that the Coalition was based on a fundamental misconception that it would be possible to combine two different ways of understanding the world, with the result that Respect was ideologically stillborn. It could never have built up a genuine political base, leaving it to rely on opportunism. more... [pdf]

Marxism and Multiculturalism (2009)

This paper uses the lens of the East End of London, to examine 130 years of socialist and Marxist responses to racism and to ethnic and religious division. It looks both at how action was organised, and also at the debates of those trying to put Marxist ideas into practice, who all had to strike a balance between the pragmatic demands arising from working with ethnic minority groups, and the dangers of separatism. And it shows that, despite the difficulties, Marxism - far from neglecting divisions that cut across the basic economic categories of class, as is so often claimed – has a long history of analysing them and of arresting ethnic and racial conflict. more... [pdf]

Playing the Ethnic Card – politics and segregation in London’s East End (2008)

This paper takes a critical look at the exploitation of difference, and at the impact of political forces of various kinds on ethnic segregation. It examines both external forces and forces from within ‘communities’ themselves through the case history of Bengali settlement in the East End of London. It assesses the different, though interacting, roles of immigration legislation and resource allocation, community and separatist politics, populism and multiculturalism, and brings the story up to date with an account of the incorporation of faith groups in local governance and of the wooing of the Muslim vote in the context of ‘The War on Terror’. This understanding is presented as a necessary first step in combating ethnic division and focusing instead on social equality for all ethnicities. more... [pdf]

East End Bengalis and the Labour Party – the end of a long relationship? (2007)

The story of the East End Bengalis and the Labour Party is one of a liaison that has turned sour. And like in many more personal relationships, the forces that finally drove the parties apart are the same that first brought them together. Now, as in the past, the main force behind East End Bengali politics is a community-based pragmatism, and the emergence and subsequent evolution of this can be understood by looking at it in the context of wider developments in progressive politics. more... [pdf]

The Spirit of ’71 - how the Bangladeshi War of Independence has haunted Tower Hamlets (2005)

In 1971 Bengalis in Britain rallied en masse in support of the independence struggle that created Bangladesh. This study explores the nature and impact of that movement, and its continuing legacy for Bengalis in Britain, especially in Tower Hamlets where so many of them live. It looks at the different backgrounds and politics of those who took part, how the war brought them together and politicised new layers, and how the dictates of ‘popular frontism’ and revolutionary ‘stages theory’ allowed the radical socialism of the intellectual leadership to become subsumed by nationalism.  And it examines how the mobilisation in 1971 played its part in the formation of Bengali links with the Labour Party and the development of a pragmatic town hall politics; and how its shadow still falls on the community today. This history, which has largely been put together here from interviews with those who took part, has previously been little recorded outside a few personal memoirs in Bengali, and is a powerful story in its own right. It also provides a detailed example of the impact of international socialist developments on the evolution of politics among immigrants in a key period that saw decolonisation and nation-forming in their place of origin, and settlement and consolidation in Britain. more... [pdf]

East End Immigrants and the Battle for Housing: a comparative study of political mobilisation in the Jewish and Bengali communities (2004)  

Twice in the recent history of the East End of London, the fight for decent housing has become part of a bigger political battle. These two very different struggles are representative of two important periods in radical politics – the class politics, tempered by popular-frontism, that operated in the 1930s, and the new social movement politics of the seventies. In the rent strikes of the 1930s the ultimate goal was Communism. Although the local Party was disproportionately Jewish, Communist theory required an outward looking orientation that embraced the whole of the working class. In the squatting movement of the 1970s political organisers attempted to steer the Bengalis onto the path of Black Radicalism, championing separate organisation and turning the community inwards. An examination of the implementation and consequences of these different movements can help us to understand the possibilities and problems for the transformation of grass-roots activism into a broader political force, and the processes of political mobilisation of ethnic minority groups. more... [pdf]

Bengali Muslims: the new East End radicals? (2002)

This article analyses the growth of a new revivalist, internationally orientated Islam in Tower Hamlets. It moves beyond discussions of identity to look at the role of ideology and socio-economic background, and to assess the effect of the new identities and ideologies on social and political action. It looks at why young Bengalis are being increasingly attracted to Islam, and at how this can benefit both themselves and the wider Bengali community; and it also explores where the impact of the new Islam is less positive, ending with an examination of the limits of its power as a vehicle for radical change in a deprived area of London. The article is based on interviews carried out in 2000 and 2001 as part of a wider historical study of political mobilisation of Jewish and Bengali immigrants in London’s East End. more... [pdf]

OTHER WRITING

The Haveli - a social history (2001)

If you look down from the air, or from flying a kite off a high roof, a north Indian town presents a cell-like appearance.  Some cells are large, others small, and they are clustered together sometimes regularly, and sometimes with what seems complete randomness.  Between run the arteries of the town, branching ever smaller to penetrate among the clusters.  These cells are the haveli courtyards, some spacious - perhaps with gardens - and grouped to form palatial mansions, others crammed into their plot so that their central space becomes little more than a light well and ventilation shaft.  The arteries are the roads and galis that give access to the havelis and break down the structure of the town into its different quarters and localities.  As the arteries get smaller, so the spaces they enter become less public, intended only for local users.  The smaller arteries, like the havelis themselves, may even be protected by a gate. more... [pdf]

 

copyright Sarah Glynn 2010